Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
August 3, 2007
Contact: Margaret Justus
713-236-0306

Senator Ellis Encourages Texans to Take Advantage of Sales Tax Holiday
9th annual Sales Tax Holiday offers Texans chance to save on necessities

(Houston)// Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) and officials from Macy's today reminded Texans to take advantage of the annual Sales Tax Holiday on August 17-19. Since the creation of the sales tax holiday, Texans have saved nearly $289 million. During the 2006 Tax Free Holiday weekend Texans saved $49 million dollars in state and local sales taxes.

"Texans are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices, energy bills, and rising inflation," said Ellis. "The sales tax holiday means real tax relief to Texas families," said Ellis. "I am extremely pleased to have passed an amendment last session that will for the first time provide Texans relief on back packs, as well." Senator Ellis authored legislation this session to move the sales tax holiday to the third weekend in August in order to move it closer to the school start date and allow more families to take advantage of the holiday.

In 1999, Senator Ellis passed Senate Bill 441, a $506 million tax relief package which created the 3-day sales tax holiday, eliminated the sales tax on over-the-counter medicines and cut business taxes. The tax holiday is designed to give hard-working Texans a tax break on necessities such as back-to-school clothing. Shoes, clothing, backpacks and many other items less than $100 are exempt from the sales tax.

Texas has one of the highest combined sales tax rates in the United States. According to the Citizens for Tax Justice, Texas has the third most regressive tax system in the nation. High sales taxes hit low income and elderly Texans the hardest, forcing our poorest citizens to pay up to six times more of their income in sales taxes than more affluent Texans. The Sales Tax Holiday helps Texans clothing and other back to school items tax-free (a full listing of tax-free items follows).

"Just in time for back-to-school, hard-working Texans get a much needed break," said Ellis. "The sales tax holiday allows families with school-age children to better afford the necessities. The sales tax holiday will help Texans keep more money in their pocket when buying the necessities."

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SALES TAX HOLIDAY
AUGUST 17-19, 2007

Legislation passed by Senator Ellis designates August 17 (beginning at midnight) through August 19 as Texas' 9th annual Sales Tax Holiday. Clothing, shoes, and for the first time backpacks, up to $100 per item will be tax-free. That will save Texans $8 on every $100 they spend.

Selected list of items and their exemption status on the sales tax holiday.

TAX FREE

Baby Clothes
Backpacks
Bathing Suits
Belts with attached buckles
Boots-cowboy, hiking
Bras
Bridal apparel (not rentals)
Caps/hats - baseball, fishing, golf, knitted
Choir robes
Coats and wraps
Costumes
Diapers - adult and baby
Dresses
Formal clothing
Gloves (generally)
Gym suits and uniforms
Hooded shirts and hooded sweatshirts
Hosiery
Jackets
Jeans
Jerseys - baseball and football

Jogging apparel, such as bras, suits and shorts
Lingerie
Neckwear and ties
Pajamas
Pants and trousers
Raincoats and ponchos
Robes
Shirts
Shoes - sandals, slippers, sneakers, tennis, walking
Socks (including athletic)
Shorts
Suits, slacks and jackets
Sweatshirts
Sweat suits
Sweaters
Swim suits and trunks
Tuxedos (not rental)
Underclothes
Work clothes and uniforms

STILL TAXED

Accessories (generally) - barrettes, plastic pony tail holders, wallets, watches
Baseball cleats and pants
Belt buckles (without belt)
Boots - climbing, fishing, rubber work boots, ski, waders
Buttons and zippers
Cloth and lace, knitting yarns and other fabrics
Dry cleaning services
Football pants
Golf gloves
Handbags and purses
Handkerchiefs
Hard hats

Helmets - bike, baseball, football, hockey, motorcycle, sports
Ice skates
Jewelry
Laundering services
Leather goods - except belts and wearing apparel
Pads - football, hockey, soccer, elbow, knee, shoulder
Personal flotation devices
Rented clothing (including uniforms, formal wear, and costumes)
Roller blades and skates
Safety clothing, glasses
Shoes - bicycle (cleated), bowling, golf.

 

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